10 CreepyPasta Stories We Want to See on ‘Channel Zero’
For those who don’t already know, CreepyPasta is a term given to short horror stories that get passed around the internet. As with most internet trends there’s plenty of rubbish to sift through, but it’s worth seeking out the real gems, the ones that stand out for taking advantage of the internet format and modern fears because they will be the scariest damn things you will ever read. Channel Zero is an upcoming SyFy anthology series that will create episodes based on some of the best stories available.
They’ve already got my favourite story, ‘Candle Cove’, slated for the first series, so that’s awesome, but here are 10 more worth looking into. We’re going to skip over the obvious choice of Slenderman, because that’s been done to death at this point.
There’s a number of of video game based CreepyPasta out there, with ‘Ben Drowned’ being a popular example. Unfortunately many of these are based on specific real video games and it’s unlikely that Nintendo and Sega want their mascots being turned into the source of horror episodes. ‘Polybius’, however, is brilliant and perfect. Rumour has it there was an arcade cabinet that turned up in a few locations through the early 80s. Those who played it later suffered nightmares and sickness. Unusual, black suited men would be seen collecting data from the machines from time to time. There’s plenty to work with here.
Have you ever seen this man? Have you ever dreamed about him? In 2007 a psychiatrist had a patient report a recurring dream where he would be given advice by ‘this man’. The doctor had the patient draw a picture of ‘this man’ and was surprised when a totally unrelated patient recognised the face from their own dreams. Intrigued the psychiatrist passed the picture on to others in the field and was shocked to find that, to date, over 2000 people have recurring dreams about him and value his advice. What does it all mean and who is this man? A fantastic modern urban legend.
He’s an easily believable nightmare. You find a new computer and find a couple of video files buried in the data, left by a previous user. You watch them and, amid the poor audio and static, see a woman answering questions to someone off screen. Something seems unusual, she’s agitated and gets increasingly upset. You think she’s frequently saying the word ‘skin’, and this is upsetting her. She starts pulling at her skin as she gets more upset. Strangest of all you recognise one of the locations on the video, so you go to investigate. This is a great tale of suspense that ultimately leaves it open ended, forcing the reader to conjure your own nightmare backstory.
I DON’T BELIEVE IN SANTA CLAUS
This short story by Samantha Joie G. Tamayo can be read in about 5 minutes and will leave you feeling spooked for a while after. It’s about a little girl who gets two presents every Christmas – one from her parents and one from ‘Santa’. This continued her whole life and she assumed they were both from her parents so she played along and never brought it up with them. It was something she looked forward to every year. But when she finally goes to college and stays on campus for the holidays something horrifying happens at home. Short, sweet and brilliant.
WHERE BAD KIDS GO
Much like ‘Candle Cove’ this is about a half-forgotten children’s TV show. Whilst living in Lebanon as a child the writer would see a show on the children’s channel every day, only understanding some of the Arabic, filled with unsettling images and forced lessons like ‘bad kids stay up late’ or ‘bad kids take things that aren’t theirs’. It would always end with a slow zoom on a rusted, bolted door in the corner with the text ‘THIS IS WHERE THE BAD KIDS GO’. Years later, as a photojournalist, the writer remembers the show and finds the burned out studio it was filmed in…including the door where the bad kids went and discovers what lies behind it. There isn’t a big surprise at the end, but knowing just where the story is taking you adds to the horror.
This one is considered one of he best out there, and while the twist at the end is a bit cheesy there’s no denying the effectiveness. We follow a man suffering from a sense of confusion and dread, unable to trust anything around him. It’s got great misdirection and plays on the themes of paranoia extremely well. It’s filled with powerful imagery and paces itself perfectly well for a televised narrative. It would be remiss of Channel Zero to skip over this one.
DEAD GIRLFRIEND KEEPS MESSAGING ME ON FACEBOOK
Although this has been touched on with the movie Unfriended there’s plenty of room for improvement on the concept. A Reddit user posted this story, along with screenshots, of progressively unusual behaviour on his Facebook account where his deceased girlfriend would start getting tagged in photos. Things progress and he starts to feel that his girlfriend is somehow contacting him from beyond the grave. There’s a solid cliffhanger at the end, and the visual nature of the story would suit television.
This one is incredibly short but effective. The writer notes that the homeless man on the subway would shout random words at people. ‘Pig’ he called after a fat woman. ‘Human’ at a well dressed man. At first it appears he’s being critical, but the names are random ‘Onion’, ‘tomato’, ‘milk’. Eventually the writer approaches him and is called ‘bread’. He asks why he’s doing this and the homeless man explains that he has an unusual psychic ability – he can tell what the last thing was eaten by any nearby person. The writer laughed and moved on – he had indeed eaten bread with breakfast.
This one would be effective if they leave no mention of the horror at the end, leaving it to the watcher to remember those details that shouldn’t add up.
Perhaps the best way to approach this story is by staging it as a procedural that never gets the right answers. A charred corpse is found locked in an oven in an isolated farmhouse. There’s a camera on a tripod pointed directly at the oven, but there’s no tape. A video tape is eventually found at the bottom of an empty well that contains disturbing footage of an old lady crawling inside the same oven…but the lady on the video does not match up with the remains found in the oven.
BUT WHO WAS PHONE?
I want to see this one being turned into an episode that is played completely straight until the end, when the famous line is said. This story is a joke within the CreepyPasta community, considered so bad it’s good. A boy is making out with his ‘honey’ when his phone rings. A male voice on the phone demands that he get away from his daughter. The boy relays this to his girlfriend who reveals that her father is dead. BUT WHO WAS PHONE?